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Brain Scans May Have Spotted People Thinking About Suicide

Posted 31 Oct 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Oct. 31, 2017 – Brain scans may be able to identify when people are having suicidal thoughts, researchers report. Suicide is the second leading cause of death among young adults in the United States, but suicidal risk is difficult to assess and predict. This study included 17 people with known suicidal tendencies and a control group of 17 people without such tendencies. While in a brain scanner, the participants were presented with and asked to think about words relating to six concepts: death, cruelty, trouble, carefree, good and praise. The researchers said an algorithm they developed was 91 percent accurate in identifying whether a person was from the suicidal or control group and 94 percent accurate in identifying people who had attempted suicide. The study, published Oct. 30 in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, suggests a new way to assess mental health disorders, ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Major Depressive Disorder, Celexa, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Pristiq, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Effexor XR, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, Savella, Nortriptyline, Elavil

Postpartum Depression Likely to Recur With Future Pregnancies

Posted 26 Sep 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Sept. 26, 2017 – Women who have suffered from postpartum depression are more likely to go through it again after subsequent pregnancies, a new Danish study shows. Postpartum depression occurs 27 to 46 times more frequently during subsequent pregnancies for mothers who experienced it after their first birth, researchers report. These results show that women who have had postpartum depression in the past should prepare themselves if they get pregnant again, said lead researcher Marie-Louise Rasmussen, an epidemiologist with Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen. Antidepressants or psychotherapy could help cushion the blow or even head off postpartum depression, Rasmussen said. "In theory, psychotherapy is preferred but not always sufficient and not always available. Often, the general practitioner has to add antidepressant medication," Rasmussen said. "Social support from the ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Major Depressive Disorder, Celexa, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Bupropion, Pristiq, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Viibryd, Effexor XR, Fluoxetine, Mirtazapine

Gun Access May Drive Higher Suicide Rates in Rural Areas

Posted 18 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Aug. 18, 2017 – The rate of suicide in rural America appears to be significantly higher than in urban areas, a new study reports. And much of the reason may have to do with the greater prevalence of gun ownership in rural areas, the study authors said. The findings stem from an analysis that focused on suicide rates in rural regions of Maryland. "The reason that rural suicide rates are higher is because people in these areas are killing themselves with guns," said study lead author Dr. Paul Nestadt. He is a postdoctoral fellow in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's psychiatric epidemiology training program. "The media focuses on homicides committed with guns, but only one in three deaths by firearm are homicides," he said in a school news release. "The other two are suicides. Most of the other leading causes of death are going down. Suicides are going up – ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Major Depressive Disorder, Agitation, Dysthymia, Neurotic Depression

U.S. Antidepressant Use Jumps 65 Percent in 15 Years

Posted 15 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 15, 2017 – The number of Americans who say they've taken an antidepressant over the past month rose by 65 percent between 1999 and 2014, a new government survey finds. By 2014, about one in every eight Americans over the age of 12 reported recent antidepressant use, according to a report released Tuesday from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Women are nearly twice as likely as men to be taking the medications, the report found, with antidepressants used by 16.5 percent of females compared to just under 9 percent of males. Also, "long-term antidepressant use was common," said a team led by Laura Pratt of the CDC's National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). The researchers noted that "one-fourth of all people [surveyed] who took antidepressants over the past month reported having taken them for 10 years or more." Why the steep rise in antidepressant ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Major Depressive Disorder, Celexa, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Pristiq, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Effexor XR, Fluoxetine, Mirtazapine, Escitalopram, Remeron, Savella

Instagram Photos May Offer Snapshot of Mental Health

Posted 8 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 8, 2017 – The photos you post on Instagram can contain telltale visual clues that help predict if you're suffering from depression, a new study reports. Computer software designed to scan photos for these hidden signals accurately diagnosed people with depression seven out of 10 times, said lead researcher Andrew Reece. He's a graduate student with the Harvard University psychology department. "Depressed individuals in our study posted photos that were bluer, darker and grayer, compared to the posts of healthy participants," Reece said. "Depressed people also tended to prefer Instagram's Inkwell filter, which turns a color image into black-and-white, whereas healthy participants preferred the Valencia filter, which gives photos a warmer, brighter tone," he noted. In other words, people with depression were more likely to choose a filter that drained all the color out of ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Major Depressive Disorder, Postpartum Depression, Dysthymia, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Neurotic Depression, Depressive Psychosis

Yoga May Help Ease Depression

Posted 3 Aug 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Aug. 3, 2017 – If you've ever taken a yoga class, you probably know that it can help relax your body and your mind. Now, several new studies suggest that practicing yoga may also ease depression. But the leader of a session on yoga and depression held Thursday at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Association (APA) in Washington, D.C., emphasized the research is preliminary. "At this time, we can only recommend yoga as a complementary approach, likely most effective in conjunction with standard approaches delivered by a licensed therapist," psychologist Lindsey Hopkins said in an APA news release. "Clearly, yoga is not a cure-all. However, based on empirical evidence, there seems to be a lot of potential," added Hopkins. She is a clinical psychologist at the San Francisco VA Medical Center. Hopkins conducted a study that included 23 male veterans who took part ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Major Depressive Disorder, Postpartum Depression, Dysthymia, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Neurotic Depression, Depressive Psychosis

Too Soon to Widely Recommend Ketamine for Depression

Posted 28 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 28, 2017 – The drug ketamine – known as Special K on the party scene – shows promise as a depression treatment. But researchers aren't ready to recommend it because its long-term effects remain unknown. That gap in knowledge must be filled before ketamine can be widely used to treat depression, said Colleen Loo, co-author of a new research review. She's a professor at the University of New South Wales in Australia. Ketamine, an anesthetic drug, is increasingly being used off-label to treat severe and treatment-resistant depression. And some preliminary findings suggest rapid-acting effectiveness, Loo said. But "this has not been effectively explored over the long term and after repeated dosing," she added in a university news release. Loo and her colleagues examined 60 published studies of ketamine treatment for depression, involving a total of nearly 900 patients. The ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Major Depressive Disorder, Dysthymia, Ketamine, Neurotic Depression, Depressive Psychosis, Ketamine/ketoprofen/lidocaine, Ketalar, LidoProfen

Can Suicide Tries Spread Among Soldiers?

Posted 26 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, July 26, 2017 – Troubling new study findings suggest that U.S. Army soldiers are more likely to try to kill themselves if another member of their unit has attempted suicide in the previous year. In fact, the researchers linked almost 20 percent of such suicide attempts to recent attempts by others in their units. It's not clear if the findings reflect a contagion-like effect, high levels of stress inside specific units or something else altogether, the investigators noted. Whatever the case, "when a suicide attempt occurs in a unit, there is increased risk of another suicide attempt," said study author Dr. Robert Ursano. He is a professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at the Uniformed Services University, in Bethesda, Md. "Being alert to clusters of suicide attempts may offer new avenues for intervention to decrease suicide attempt rates." Suicides among active members of ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Anxiety, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Anxiety and Stress, Major Depressive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Dysthymia, Neurotic Depression

Estrogen May Influence Women's Depression Risk

Posted 21 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, July 21, 2017 – Women exposed to estrogen for longer periods of time during the reproductive years may have a lower risk of depression, a new study finds. Previous research has suggested that reproductive hormones play a role in depression risk among women, yet hormone fluctuations are something all women experience. So, the study authors tried to figure out how hormones might be linked to depression. The researchers focused on estradiol. This is the main form of estrogen present during a woman's reproductive years. Estradiol affects levels of serotonin, a brain chemical that's involved in depression. Factors that might increase the length of exposure to estradiol include a younger age at first menstruation and how many menstrual cycles a woman has over her lifetime, the researchers said. This study of more than 1,300 women found that being exposed to estradiol for a longer ... Read more

Related support groups: Birth Control, Depression, Contraception, Major Depressive Disorder, Hot Flashes, Menopausal Disorders, Menstrual Disorders, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, Premenstrual Syndrome, Period Pain, Postmenopausal Symptoms, Dysthymia, Perimenopausal Symptoms, Neurotic Depression, Dysmenorrhea, Vaginal Dryness, Labor and Delivery including Augmentation, Premenopausal Anovulation

Antidepressants in Pregnancy Tied to Slight Increase in Autism

Posted 20 Jul 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, July 20, 2017 – In the long-standing debate over whether antidepressants are safe to take during pregnancy, a new study suggests that exposure to the drugs in the womb might bump up a child's risk of autism. The risk of autism was 45 percent higher for kids whose moms took antidepressants compared to kids born to mothers with psychiatric disorders who weren't prescribed antidepressants, the study found. "We found consistent results pointing towards a small effect of antidepressants with autism, especially higher functioning forms of autism without intellectual disability," said lead researcher Dheeraj Rai. He is a senior lecturer in psychiatry with the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. "We think it is important to keep in mind the absolute risk, which is small," Rai said. "Over 95 percent of women in the study who took antidepressants during pregnancy did not have ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Major Depressive Disorder, Celexa, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Pristiq, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Effexor XR, Fluoxetine, Mirtazapine, Escitalopram, Remeron, Savella

Electric Brain Stimulation No Better Than Meds For Depression: Study

Posted 28 Jun 2017 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, June 28, 2017 – For people who battle depression and can't find relief, stimulating the brain with electric impulses may help. But a new study by Brazilian researchers says it's still no better than antidepressant medication. In a trial that pitted transcranial, direct-current stimulation (tDCS) against the antidepressant escitalopram (Lexapro), researchers found that lessening of depression was about the same for either treatment. "We found that antidepressants are better than tDCS and should be the treatment of choice," said lead researcher Dr. Andre Brunoni. He's director of the Service of Interdisciplinary Neuromodulation at the University of Sao Paulo. "In circumstances that antidepressant drugs cannot be used, tDCS can be considered, as it was more effective than placebo," he said. The researchers used the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale. This test has a score range ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Major Depressive Disorder, Escitalopram, Postpartum Depression, Dysthymia, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Neurotic Depression, Depressive Psychosis, Diagnosis and Investigation

After Suicide Attempt, a Phone Call Could Save a Life

Posted 7 May 2017 by Drugs.com

SUNDAY, May 7, 2017 – A simple phone call can make a big difference to someone who's attempted suicide and may be contemplating another try. A new study found that follow-up phone calls after a suicidal patient was discharged from a hospital emergency department reduced future suicide attempts by 30 percent. The study included nearly 1,400 patients in eight locations across the United States who were provided with interventions that included specialized screening, safety planning guidance and follow-up phone calls. "People who are suicidal are often disconnected and socially isolated. So any positive contact with the world can make them feel better," said study co-author Dr. Michael Allen. He's a professor of psychiatry and emergency medicine at the University of Colorado Anschutz. Allen is also medical director of Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners in Denver, which has implemented a ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Major Depressive Disorder, Postpartum Depression, Dysthymia, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Neurotic Depression, Depressive Psychosis

Studies Question Link Between Mom's Antidepressant Use, Autism in Kids

Posted 18 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 18, 2017 – Taking antidepressants during pregnancy doesn't appear to raise a child's risk of autism, once other factors that could influence the risk are taken into account, two new studies suggest. "For a woman who needs to take this medication for her mental health and for her psychiatric stability, these results certainly suggest she shouldn't go without treatment," said Dr. Simone Vigod, senior author of one study and a psychiatrist at Women's College Hospital in Toronto. Depression during pregnancy can be dangerous for both mother and child. Pregnant women with untreated depression are more likely to have severe postpartum depression, and their children are more likely to be born prematurely or at a low birth weight, Vigod said. But earlier studies found a significant association between first-trimester exposure to antidepressants and autism spectrum disorder in ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Lexapro, Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor, Prozac, Major Depressive Disorder, Celexa, Citalopram, Paxil, Sertraline, Pristiq, Amitriptyline, Venlafaxine, Effexor XR, Fluoxetine, Escitalopram, Savella, Nortriptyline, Elavil

Just 1 in 5 Mentally Ill Women Gets Cervical Cancer Screenings

Posted 17 Apr 2017 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, April 17, 2017 – Cervical cancer screening rates are much lower among women with severe mental illness than among other women, a new study finds. "The results of this very large study indicate that we need to better prioritize cervical cancer screening for these high-risk women with severe mental illnesses," said study senior author Dr. Christina Mangurian. She's an associate professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco. Researchers reviewed 2010-11 California Medicaid data for the study. Of the women with severe mental illness, 42 percent had some form of schizophrenia. Almost a third of the women had major depression. Nearly one in five had bipolar disorder, and the rest had anxiety or another disorder. The study showed that 20 percent of women with severe mental illness were screened for cervical cancer. But 42 percent of women in the ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Major Depressive Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Schizophrenia, Mania, Borderline Personality Disorder, Schizoaffective Disorder, Sexual Dysfunction, SSRI Induced, Autism, Psychosis, Psychiatric Disorders, Asperger Syndrome, Neurotic Depression, Dissociative Identity Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Neurosis, Excoriation Disorder, Dependent Personality Disorder

U.S. Suicide Rates Rising Faster Outside Cities

Posted 16 Mar 2017 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 16, 2017 – Although the U.S. suicide rate has been rising gradually since 2000, suicides in less urban areas are outpacing those in more urban areas, according to a new federal report. "Geographic disparities in suicide rates might be associated with suicide risk factors known to be highly prevalent in less urban areas, such as limited access to mental health care, made worse by shortages in behavioral health care providers in these areas, and greater social isolation," the researchers from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wrote. It's also possible that economic pressures may have played a role, the study authors noted. The biggest increase in the suicide gap occurred beginning in 2007-2008, when the U.S. economy was experiencing a severe recession. Another possibility the researchers pointed to is the country's opioid epidemic. In the early years of ... Read more

Related support groups: Depression, Major Depressive Disorder, Postpartum Depression, Dysthymia, Neurotic Depression, Depressive Psychosis

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